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Question: How do we fix the education system?

Paul Krugman: Well first off just money.  And we’re, you know . . .  enough to pay good teachers’ salaries so that low income districts are able to have adequate education.  More financial support for college.  I did a comparison in “Conscience of a Liberal” with France.  And we know . . .  Everybody knows . . . The French do have real problems.  But everybody knows that young French are less likely to be working than young Americans.  A lot of that is actually because the French do things better.  Students are much less likely to be forced to drop out of school for financial reasons.  Of course there are good government stipends.  Students from lower income families are able to be full time students, whereas in the United States they usually have to work their way through school.  And this is all good stuff.  There is a striking statistical comparison I put in the book that if you look at bright students as measured by tests they took in the eighth grade from low income families, they’re actually less likely to get through college than really not very bright, bottom quartile students from high income families.  We are a society in which the . . . starting in the wrong class makes it very difficult to get through college, and that should not be the case.


More from the Big Idea for Tuesday, June 28 2011


Paul Krugman on Education

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